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Passover Table: New and Traditional Recipes for Your Seders and the Entire Passover Week

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Overview

Passover has always tested the ingenuity of even the most creative Jewish cooks. With The Passover Table, what was once a challenge becomes a delight. Here are more than forty delicious recipes, both traditional and modern, for celebrating the holiday, organizing seders, and preparing meals throughout the Passover week.

Susan R. Friedland offers marvelous and reliable versions of all the classic fare, including Matzo Balls and Chicken Soup, Gefilte Fish, and Borscht, as well as ...

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Overview

Passover has always tested the ingenuity of even the most creative Jewish cooks. With The Passover Table, what was once a challenge becomes a delight. Here are more than forty delicious recipes, both traditional and modern, for celebrating the holiday, organizing seders, and preparing meals throughout the Passover week.

Susan R. Friedland offers marvelous and reliable versions of all the classic fare, including Matzo Balls and Chicken Soup, Gefilte Fish, and Borscht, as well as contemporary dishes to update your Passover table, such as Spinach Pie, Turkish Sweet and Sour Artichokes, and Tangine of Chicken.

With its thorough explanations, lavish full-color photography, and delicious recipes, The Passover Table is the only book you need to celebrate the beloved and joyous commemoration of the Exodus.

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Editorial Reviews

Florence Fabricant
Susan R. Friedland introduces her beautifully photographed book...with some rich insights into the history of the holiday and how it is celebrated. -- New York Times
Patricia Mack
With a fresh and witty approach to the considerable culinary challenges of Passover, Friedland...put to work her knowledge of Jewish cooking and her acclaimed insight into what makes a recipe work. The result: a cookbook that boasts practicality as well as plenitude and tastiness. -- The Record
Cookbook News
...written with detailed explanations of the hows and whys of the Passover rituals...The Passover Table is sure to become a classic guidebook to the joys of a distinctive and delicious culinary tradition.
Rita Edelman
This is an authoritative and simple Passover cookbook, highly recommended for the novice or experienced Passover cook. -- Star-Ledger
Helen Moore
Friedland's beautiful book is filled with such delectable-looking full-color photographs you'll want to eat the pages. The more than 40 Passover recipes and tips make preparations easy and practical. -- Charlotte Observer
Felicia Gressette
The Passover Table is an engaging Passover primer that mixes history with theology with cooking. -- Miami Herald
Deborah S. Hartz
Friedland not only offers recipes appropriate for Passover...she also provides an authoritative discourse on the meaning and traditions of the holiday. -- Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
Ilene Rosenzweig
An expertly tailored manual for the spring holiday, covering everything from the Passover pantry and seder plate to an excellent recipe collection. -- Forward
Ilene Rosenzweig
An expertly tailored manual for the spring holiday, covering everything from the Passover pantry and seder plate to an excellent recipe collection.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060950262
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/1994
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 96
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 0.24 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan R. Friedland is the Director of Cookbook Publishing at HarperCollins Publishers. She collaborated with Raymond Sokolov on The Jewish-American Kitchen and is the author of Ribs and Caviar.

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Read an Excerpt

In every generation, each individual should feel thathe or she personally had gone forth from Egypt, as itis said:And you shall tell your children on that day saying,this is on account of what the Eternal did for me, when Iwent forth from Egypt. For the Lord redeemed not onlyour ancestors; He redeemed us with them.

This instruction from the Talmud (Pesachim 116b) has been observed by Jews for more than three thousand years. On the fifteenth day of the Hebrew month of Nissan (which corresponds to late March or April), they commemorate in the Seder and the entire week of observance their liberation from two centuries of slavery by the Egyptians.

Passover, or Pesach, literally refers to the "Passing over" by God of the homes of the Jews enslaved in Egypt, who were identified by a smear of the blood of a slaughtered paschal lamb on their door posts, when He killed the firstborn son of each Egyptian family. This was the tenth and final plague God visited on the Egyptians and the one that finally persuaded the pharaoh, whose own son lay dead, to free the Jews.

Passover is a continuation and amalgam of earlier holidays: the pagan agricultural one celebrating spring and the first barley harvest, and later the religious holidays of hag ha'Pesach, the festival of the paschal lamb, when nomadic Jewish shepherds offered their spring lambs in ceremonial sacrifice, and hag ha'matzot, the festival of the unleavened bread, when Jews discarded the old bread made from the previous year's flour. Passover also draws its identity from one of the three pilgrimage festivals when Israelites journeyed to Jerusalem to thank God for His bounties and to offer sacrifices at the Temple.It was the only one of the pilgrimage festivals that required women as well as men to travel to Jerusalem. The main Passover service was limited to those who could make the pilgrimage and to those who lived near the Temple ("You are not permitted to slaughter the Passover sacrifice in any of the settlements ..." [Deut. 16:5-6]). When the Temple was destroyed, the paschal lamb was eliminated from the Seder, but the other elements of the ritual were transferred to the home, and Seder became a family ceremony with only a symbol of the paschal lamb retained: a roasted shank bone on the Seder plate.

The Talmud emphasizes Passover as the story of continuing deliverance, an event in which all Jews participate. It is meant to ensure that the thread of memory will be unbroken. Each Jew should feel that he himself has fled affliction; she herself must experience slavery and the exhilaration of liberation. This immediacy accounts for the spirit and gusto most Jews bring to the Seder.

The focus for the reliving of the Exodus is the Seder (literally, "order of the ritual"), a ceremonial and didactic meal. The service is presented in the Haggadah (literally, "to tell"), a liturgical text. It retells the story of the Exodus, gives instructions on how to conduct the Seder, explains the Passover symbols, and gives selections from Psalms (113-18), along with songs, riddles, and prayers.

The written Haggadah is more than two thousand years old; before it was transcribed, the head of the family would tell the story of the Exodus, aided by a mnemonic for remembering the order. The formula consists of fourteen words, each of which stands for a specific element of the ritual and is now included, as a chant in rhymed verse, in the introduction to the Haggadah.

Kadesh-blessing over wine

Urhatz-washing hands

Karpas-eating the mild herb

Yahatz-dividing the matzo

Maggid-telling the Passover story

Rahtzah-washing hands

Motzi Matzah-blessing the matzo

Maror-eating the bitter herb

Karekh-the Hillel sandwich

Shulan Orekhthe- festive meal

Tzafun-eating the afikomen

Barekh-grace after the meal

Hallel-psalms

Nirtzah-conclusion

Haggadahs were improvisatory until the early rabbis adopted the ritual of the Hellenistic symposium for them. Rituals varied and still do: Radical socialist kibbutzim in Palestine didn't mention God; a lesbian Haggadah presents Miriam as the leader, almost ignoring Moses; there is a California Haggadah that has ancient Israelites surfing in the Red Sea; a socalled Liberation Haggadah of the 1960s quoted the 11 prophet" Eldredge Cleaver. In the 1930s and'40s, Haggadahs were created by Maxwell House and other manufacturers of food products and given away at supermarkets. These free Haggadahs went a long way to codifying the rituals of the Seder. Regardless of the spin or bias of the ritual, it is halachically correct to conduct the Seder in the native language of the participants so that everyone will understand what is going on.

The Haggadah has played an important part in developing Jewish figurative art because it has provided artists with many subjects suitable for illustration: the four sons, the ten plagues, the crossing of the Red Sea. There is a fourteenth-century Spanish Haggadah with pictures of Seder scenes, including a small child asking his father the meaning of the festival. The Amsterdam Haggadah of 1695 was illustrated with copper engravings, made to order for the family of Moses Wesel. A later Amsterdam Haggadah was lavishly illustrated with woodcuts borrowed from a Venetian Haggadah. In modern times, Ben Shahn and Leonard Baskin have illustrated Haggadahs.

Like all Jewish festival meals, the Seder starts with the kiddush-a ritual of domestic worship in which the sanctity of the Sabbath or festival is affirmed over a cup of wine. Because there is such a long service between the kiddush and the actual meal and another long service after the meal, additional cups of wine were added to the Seder.These were incorporated into...

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Recipe

CHICKEN SOUP

 

All Jewish holidays and many Shabbat dinners start with chicken soup. This rich and delicious version uses stewing hens, if you can find them. Younger chickens will also give you a good soup.

Two 6- to 8- pound stewing hens, including
neck and giblets but not the liver
5 to 6 quarts water
4 large onions, halved
6 carrots, scraped and cut into large chunks
15 parsley sprigs
10 peppercorns, crushed
Dill
Parsley
Kneidlach (page 26)
Mandlen (page 27)

1. Remove the fat from the cavities of the hens and set aside for rendering (see page 21).

2. Place one hen in a stockpot with the water and half of the vegetables. The ingredients should barely be covered with water.

3. Bring to a boil and immediately lower the heat. Skim the foam that rises to the surface and adjust the heat so that only a bubble or two appears on the surface of the liquid. Add the parsley sprigs and peppercorns, partially cover the pot, and simmer for about 2 hours, skimming occasionally. The hen should be tender but not falling apart.

4. Remove the hen to a large platter, and when it is cool enough to handle remove the meat from the bones. Alternatively, let the hen cool in the liquid and then reserve the meat (for the Mina de Pesah on page 48 or a chicken salad) and put the bones and skin back in the simmering soup. Or, let the hen cool in the broth and then proceed. Cook for another hour or so. Strain the soup into a large bowl and discard everything in the strainer. Cool the soup and refrigerate overnight. Remove the fat that has hardened on the surface.

5. For a really superb soup, start again with the just-made defatted chicken stock, the remaining vegetables, the second hen, and more water if necessary to cover the ingredients.

6. Serve with chopped dill, parsley, and kneidlach or mandlen.

Makes 5 to 6 quarts

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2013

    This has been my go-to cookbook for the holiday since I found it

    This has been my go-to cookbook for the holiday since I found it on the bookstore shelf over 20 years ago. It has transformed my holiday table. No more over- cooked turkey (it was convenient but it wasn't edible). No more tasteless stuffing. No more boring potato dishes. We have a succulent tagine of chicken, redolent of ginger, cinnamon and lemon (it simmers on the stove-top until served) and farfel kugels that are light and flavorful--two different kinds, no less--plus a carrot-apple kugel. Artichokes have replaced those limp string-beans and soggy mush that was broccoli when I took it from the fridge. I still do the tradition dishes that my family expects -- matzoh ball soup, brisket and gefilte fish--but have added these wonderful new dishes to our festival table.--and I only serve them for Passover! Only downside is that I picked all the labor intensive, last minute recipes that have me in and out of the kitchen--but who cares! I won't eliminate a single one of them. Everyone wants an invitation to our Seder table! What recipes I don't use for the Seder table, I use for mid-week meals--mina de Pesah for the chicken leftovers, megina with ground meat, parsely and dill.

    I even gave this cook- book along with the gift of a seder plate -- and didn't realize until the honoree pointed it out that we had given them the same seder as on the cover of the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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